Ledang acting police chief, Deputy Superintendent Mohd Salleh Abdul Razak said three of the inmates were arrested at a nearby furniture factory soon after they broke out.
"The other 13 inmates were arrested about 9am while they were hiding under the Panchor bridge, which is about 8km from the centre.
"We are now in the process of tracking down the remaining five inmates who are still at large," said Salleh.
The rioting, which began at 9pm on Thursday night, saw a group of inmates setting fire to several buildings at the centre and damaging eight cars and two motorcycles.
No injuries were reported during the rampage.
Salleh said police were alerted of the incident at 9.15pm and arrived at the centre within five minutes.
"After we managed to bring the rioting under control, we did a head count which revealed that 21 of the 377 inmates at the centre were missing. We immediately mobilised our personnel to track them down.".
He said they also sought the assistance of a K-9 unit from Segamat for the operation.
"We are currently in the process of identifying the five inmates as there has been a bit of confusion following the rioting.
"We are also investigating the cause and motive and whether the inmates had any outside help in the rioting and their subsequent escape."
Salleh said police were investigating the case under Section 148 and Section 436 of the Penal Code.
He urged those with any information on the whereabouts of the missing inmates to contact 019-2799429 or the nearest police station.